Lance Armstrong says his case in the forthcoming whistleblower lawsuit brought by former US Postal team-mate Floyd Landis is strong, but he doesn't have $100 million to give away

Lance Armstrong faces a $100m (£65m) court case this year and the possibility of losing his remaining fortune. A large chunk of that – up to $33m (£21m) – could go to former team-mate Floyd Landis for exposing that he doped and cheated the US government.

The disgraced American, stripped of seven Tour de France titles for doping, is being sued by Landis on the behalf of the government under the False Claims Act. The unique whistleblower lawsuit allows for penalties up to three-times the amount defrauded, or nearly $100m in Armstrong’s case.

Landis, with his 2010 lawsuit, highlighted how the government and taxpayers were swindled via the US Postal Service’s sponsorship of Armstrong’s team from 1996 to 2004.

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“If I lost, we would not be sitting at this table anymore,” Armstrong said at an interview at his home in Colorado. “We wouldn’t be sitting in this home anymore. We wouldn’t be sitting in any home. I don’t have $100 million.

Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong’s team was sponsored by the US Postal Service from 1998 to 2004

“We like our case is all I will say. I’m not going to jinx myself. But I don’t know. How do you guys see it? Say the jury says: ‘Pay up $100 million.’ Floyd Landis gets $33 million. Is everybody at this jury happy with that? I would think what everybody thinks – there’s no logic to that.”

USPS gave $31.9m to the team from 2001 to 2004, according to an ESPN article in 2012.

Landis rode at Armstrong’s side from 2002 to 2004, helped him win the Tour three times and went on to win the 2006 Tour with team Phonak. Officials stripped Landis’s win after he failed a testosterone test days later.

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His testimony in the Food and Drug Administration case helped bring down Armstrong. The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) ruled in 2012 that Armstrong doped for the majority of his career, stripped him of his wins and banned him for life.

Lance Armstrong, Floyd Landis and Levi Leipheimer

Lance Armstrong, Floyd Landis and Levi Leipheimer

Armstrong faces the US government now, but already lost money in sponsorship deals and lawsuits with the Sunday Times (around £1m) and SCA Promotions ($10m, £6.47m). He said that he lost $75m (£49m) in sponsorship income when the USADA hammer came down on him in 2012.

“I don’t have to make a case for me, but you can at least see what it’s done to the sport. I do know it had a real negative effect on the fact that Chris Froome or whoever, they’re still answering questions about some old guy. Sponsors left, races folded, the media totally turned,” Armstrong added.

“The industry, just look at the trend. You guys [in the British media] probably live in a bubble because Britain has ridden this wave behind [Bradley] Wiggins, Froome and Sky, but there’s been a lot of negative fallout.

Chris Froome poses before the 2014 Tour de France

Lance Armstrong admits that his legacy means that the likes of Chris Froome face doping questions and doubts at the Tour de France

Armstrong explained in a previous BBC interview that he wanted to “try and make it right” with his former enemies, but as part of his whistleblower defence he sent subpoenas to those who testified against him in the USADA case.

“This shows that Armstrong will stop at nothing to continue the Armstrong lie,” said Betsy Andreu. Her husband and Armstrong’s former helper, Frankie Andreu one of those subpoenaed. “This is nothing more than payback.”

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  • NitroFan

    I suggest he should have thought of that before he undertook to steal corrupt bully and cheat. I have no sympathy for any cheats even less for those like Armstrong.

  • Mike Johnson

    Armstrong = sociopath!

  • Vespertine

    Maybe; we will never know. Everyone was certainly called to testify before he was as I understand, it was not a truth and reconciliation commission, someone was going to take the big bullet, and those who testified were offered incentives. I wouldn’t classify it as a witch hunt as it was quite clear what had gone on for a very long time. I am sure he regrets not telling all, he was living in his own bubble of lies, I can see why he didn’t. I am not sure he really did pretend he was a good guy all along, he behaved poorly a lot of the time, Simeoni springs to mind immediately, it was obvious he was a cruel character from that single incident alone. Everyone was claiming to be clean too, and nobody really was, that doesn’t make him any different. What gets me is “Levi’s Grand Fondo by Specialized” “George Hincapie Sportswear”… both of those brands are in the Pro Peleton right now. Gorgeous movies lauding the beautiful life of Pantani made by Rapha, another Pro Peleton heavyweight. Juxtapose those three, off the top of my head, with the reaction to Lance trying to ride around France and the reaction of JB going to Wiggo’s Hour. Also the reaction by people in general, like here as an example. So some cheat and profit from their name and some cheat and might lose everything. You rightly said a cheat is a cheat so perhaps fair and equal treatment for the same is appropriate.

  • Tony Short

    Hmm. I think if he’d been prepared to play ball he wouldn’t now be facing losing everything. That was his choice remember. He did have a way back if he hadn’t chosen to bury his head. As to the doping culture, I agree he didn’t invent it, but it was the relentless lengths he went to to cover up the lie that set him apart. Remember he was the guy claiming to be clean, he got all his sponsorships and stuff out of a false image he created when underneath he was pretty much a monster. People tell me you have to be like that to have his level of success, but why prwtend you’re a good guy all along?

  • Vespertine

    I’m not suggesting anything as an alternative, just that in general people remember the context with regards to LA and cycling culture in general when they pass judgement. The core was very rotten before he got to it, and quite possibly still is. It has been consequential for a very long time. Do I think this man should lose everything? No I don’t, essentially as I don’t think it serves any purpose. What went around came around, he didn’t get away with it. Let’s move on.

  • Tony Short

    No I’m consistent with my hatred of all cheats but I get it that some people are hypocrites. I think that all dopers deserve to get life bans and yes it sucks that Lance is the only one getting called out, but what do you suggest as an alternative?

  • Vespertine

    It’s just my take on it Tony, yes he was playing the same game as everyone else, and yes he was better at it. That is simply a fact, everyone has admitted as such. I’m not sure where you got worship from? Are there levels of cheating? Biggest and best cheat? If you are going to cheat why be hung for a lamb? So all the guys that just cheated a little bit, they are OK then? To be hated you have to cheat a lot, right?

  • Tony Short

    The fact that you are ignorant of the people whos lives and reputations were destroyed by Lance Armstrong doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I think you’re the one sipping the Kool Ade. Have you heard yourself? He was playing the same game as everyone else and was just better at it. You’re actually worshipping someone who you openly admit is the biggest and best CHEAT right there. Don’t you see the irony? Don’t you see the wrong in that?

  • Tony Short

    I’m not missing the point. He made a conscious decision to cheat and he went to extreme lengths to protect his reputation in the full knowledge that his victories were drug assisted. Regardless of whether cycling was/is/always will be a cess pit of drug cheats doesn’t concern me and I’m not going to lose sleep because Lance is carrying the can. It was his decision to dope, his decision to cover it up, his decision not to fully cooperate with USADA when he got busted. He can deal with the consequences. Look at it this way, if he hadn’t have cheated he wouldn’t be in this hole.

  • Tony Short

    The use of PEDs have led directly to the deaths of many cyclists. Many promising young Belgians died in their sleep because EPO turned their blood into jam and their hearts stopped pumping. The catalogue of other deaths and diseases linked to the use of drugs in sport is out their for you to read but you’re in major denial if you don’t recognise the problem. As for comparing Lance to Hitler, I didn’t, I made an anology. People seem prepared to forgive Lance his many failings as a sportsman and a human being simply on account of his success. I can’t do that. Sorry if you think that makes me a bad person but I’ll get over it.

  • Vespertine

    I think the Hitler/Holocaust analogy is kind of frantic.

  • Vespertine

    Agree with this position. Can we all please get over Lance Armstrong, he was playing the same game as everyone else, he was just better at it. Destroyed lives? Ridiculous… both Betsy Andreau and Emma O’Reily have profited from the whole foul jamboree. Stop drinking the Kool Aid people.

  • Cedders_B

    Because he was the only guy with the bottle to nail Armstrong in public ?

  • Cedders_B

    In the UK, the way that Armstrong benefitted from his charity is a) illegal b) specifically disallowed by the Charities Commission.

  • RaceSnake13

    Classic psychopath reaction – to frame themselves as the victim. And Lance is a classic psychopath.

  • Kevino Daviessss

    I think your missing the point Tony, the lawsuit is to see if US Postal was damaged as a business by LA drug cheating, they benefitted by tens of millions when he rode for them, years later he was caught so no case? Would you rather another cheat in landis get 35 million dollars?
    The rights and wrongs of lances cheating is not disputed, but he was one of 100’s of pro cyclists over this period caught or who have now confessed to doping!
    I’m amazed you even bother to watching cycling since you have such a high moral standing on drug cheats!!

  • Phil

    “literally each and every single rider doped”

    Except for those who didn’t.

    “Many champions, across all sporting disciplines, behave like idiots and intimidate their opposition – that’s part of the mind game that a contender must have the strength to deal with.”

    No. It’s bullying, coercion and thuggery. There is no place for it in sport or civilised society. Taken far enough, it is criminal.

    “Armstrong trained harder than anyone else’

    He and his sponsors and hangers-on told you that? It must be true then.

  • SteelFrame

    Oh no! I’m so ashamed! (Luckily, I can hide behind this pseudonym, and go back and edit loose to lose.)

  • AmIJustAPessimistOrWhat?

    No! Santa Claus is #1 !!!!!!

  • ella

    Indian givers, cry babies, whiners, jealousy mongers, losers et al–Lance is #1 in our hearts. You can’t take that!

  • ella

    lose

  • David Sundheim

    Working hard doesn’t pardon his consequences. We all know he was the best rider those 7 years, but, when the means by which you earned that dubious distinction, come tumbling down, in no way should you be spared the whole thing falling on your head.

  • Tony Short

    Seems like CW have stopped posting my replies.

  • Celebration21

    Tony, why so bitter? If you know anything at all about pro cycling, you will understand that until very, very recently it was common ‘industry’ knowledge that literally each and every single rider doped, and long before Armstrong arrived on the scene. The sport has been rife with this for ages and it starts in the entry level pro riding circuit, long before any rifer is even considered near ready fir the Tour. If you look at the situation objectively, he had no unfair advantage and those capable of competing were, in fact, doing so on an even playing field, given that they too were doping? As many of the responses here indicate, Armstrong trained harder than anyone else and my personally held view is that even if there was a system or process that enabled sport to be conducted without doping, he would still have dominated given his tenacity and desire to win. I’m no fan, by the way, but it is bitterly unfair to prosecute one man when literally hundreds were involved (including the overwhelming majority of other riders, his sponsors, team management as well as administrators, noting that they knew what was going on and ignorance is not a plea in law) never mind if you start to calculate what you call ‘cheaters’ in the wider professional sports arena, which would then be tens of thousands of athletes, coaches and so on. Many champions, across all sporting disciplines, behave like idiots and intimidate their opposition – that’s part of the mind game that a contender must have the strength to deal with. And whether anyone will admit it or not, Live Strong not only created enormous awareness and benefit to cancer sufferers, but also inspired the creation of countless other campaigns benefiting many hundreds of thousands of people. Let Nike pay the fine – they made many billions of dollars leveraging the Armstrong legend. What a joke that the US Govt is suing vicariously through Landis; the duplicity of that organisation is f#@*&@ staggering, especially since he was held up as a real life American hero for so long.

  • Vance Harvey

    Well said…. I agree with you totally…..

  • elan

    Agree with the comments about Landis.He has no interest in making cycling clean.All he wants is money,and that is corruption against another.Any jury should throw this out.I for one would show great delight in seeing the back of him.Lance is only one who got caught.The others are still getting their rewards.Get rid or them all.What about athletics,and football well they are just as bad.The bankers in this country have ruined more people than anyone.Lance has helped more people than he ruined.Think on!!

  • cahern1968

    The whole cancer charity thing was a big benefit to Lance. It provided a good image boost, but if you wanted Lance at your charity ride you had to pay a huge fee for the privilege. The purpose of the charity is probably best shown by Harry Enfield’s characters “Smashie and Nicie” who do a lot of great work for charity, but they really don’t like to talk about it! The cancer also provided a good excuse for certain things too, a good example is his famous exchange with Paul Kimmage in 2009.

  • SeanMcCuen

    I’d be pissed, too, fred.

  • Tony Short

    Nobody’s asking you to care except Lance. He’s pissed at losing all his dough. Boo hoo.

  • SeanMcCuen

    man, I just don’t care, there are real problems in the world today.

  • Tony Short

    The last time I looked the only person whining was Lance. Isn’t he the one giving interviews and crying about his treatment? He could’ve just crawled under a rock if he didn’t want the attention.

  • SeanMcCuen

    so? everybody knows the story. what about the fact he also put the work in to get those wins. he walked the walk, you’re just whining, and beating a dead horse. it’s tedious, move on.

  • Rupert the Super Bear

    Well said Tony.

  • Tony Short

    He didn’t ruin anyone’s life? Suggest you do some research. He was part of the rotten core of professional sport that means it’s impossible to compete unless you’re doping. This culture (perpetuated by this uber cheat) has led directly and indirectly to many ruined lives, probably lots of drug related deaths and diseases, and the ruined dreams of thousands of cyclists and other athletes who wanted a professional career but had to abandon their dream because they didn’t want to cheat. Not only that, Lance took a bunch of people through the courts to conceal his deceit and crushed them under the weight of his legal team which had virtually limitless funds, all the time in the full knowledge that he was concealing one of the biggest lies in the history of sport. I’m glad your mates were inspired by him, but glossing over his dark side because he helped the fight against cancer is like forgiving Hitler for the Holocaust on the grounds that he rescued the German economy from hyper inflafion.

  • Tony Short

    Aside from all the moral and ethical issues and whether his main rivals were up to their necks in it too, he won his fortune by cheating. He got caught. He deserves to lose his ill gotten gains for that alone. Or am I missing something?

  • Tony Short

    .

  • SeanMcCuen

    petty bitterness, much?

  • David Bassett

    I don’t think he has actually RUINED anyone’s lives, but I do know personally three people who say that he gave them the power to fight, and survive. But how easey it is to be negetive

  • Tony Short

    My heart pumps purple piss for you Lance. Even if this case does clean you out (which you absolutely deserve) I don’t remember you losing a moments sleep over all the lives you ruined and now it’s pay back.

  • cahern1968

    You would feel sorry for him, nearly.

  • Vance Harvey

    Landis is a parasite….

  • Bob

    too true

  • SteelFrame

    Since Lance got his money by cheating, I won’t be upset to see him loose it.

  • David Bassett

    Can someone take a case out over Landis, I love the States but only there could someone like him gain, one drug taker against another. One that has done didly squat for any one other himself against one who raised millions of $ for a great cause.